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"Well, no one really dreams of air conditioning at night."
Frank Mutz (FM) and Phil Mutz (PM)
PM: Well no one really dreams of air conditioning at night. You know, no one thinks, like, “Oh, I cannot wait to work on that air conditioner.” But I’m the guy that goes in there and crawls through your rat-infested crawl space in the 130 degree attic. I’m sort of like a doctor for machines.
Frank Mutz (FM): Back in the ‘70s, we air conditioned a lot of churches. And on Sunday mornings sometimes I’d get a call, our air conditioner doesn’t work. And one time I was down there and the preacher was doing a really high powered prayer. And as he concluded with “Amen,” I hit the switch and cool air started coming down. And I thought it was kind of funny.
PM: Think his collections went up that day?
FM: I think it did. You know, most of our customers are very nice. But how do you handle ones that are not nice?
PM: I try to understand that they just slept in a house when it’s 90 something degrees outside. That puts anybody in their worst mood.
FM: I thought I was always very good at getting people who were unhappy, happy.
PM: I do learn that from you. The kind of warmth you project, you never get frazzled with anybody.
FM: What would you want your legacy to be?
PM: The simple answer is not to screw it up.
FM: Well I’m very proud of the job you’re doing. You know my father always told me that I didn’t get the best grades, but I have common sense.
And I have a relative, he went to a top university, got straight A’s, just so smart, and he had a job in college he was painting these iron gates and they gave him a black paint can. But he did not know to pry up the paint can lid. He took a screwdriver and just kept beating holes in it ‘til he could pour it out.
FM: That’s the difference between having really scary no common sense and being book smart. And you certainly got decent grades in school and you graduated from college. But also, you have good common sense, which in our business is everything.
Drew Cortez and Danny Cortez
Pastor Danny Cortez and his son, Drew, recall the sermon Danny gave to his church congregation after Drew told his father that he was gay.
Melva Washington Toomer and John Washington
John Washington, 95, who is blind and deaf, recently recorded a StoryCorps interview with his eldest child, Melva, using a TeleBraille machine.
StoryCorps is America’s oral history project. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected more than 60,000 interviews with over 100,000 participants from all backgrounds -- the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.
Recordings are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress so that future generations can hear the stories – and the voices – of today.
We share stories online and through our popular weekly NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, and best-selling books. StoryCorps is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.